TL;DR – How times have changed.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says “Security officer”?
One would probably think of a middle-aged (or maybe older) man, with his uniform fitted tightly around a bulging stomach, and the buttons straining against the pull of the fabric. He’s probably patrolling around your office compounds with his flashlight or you might picture him sitting in a small and cramped guardhouse of a condominium.
It’s 2018, people! High time you get rid of that stereotype in your head!
Here are some surprising facts from the security industry that we bet you didn’t know:
1) Security officers can sing!
Yup, they can sing, they can harmonize and hey hey hey, they even dropped their own music video!
Check out the rendition of our national anthem “Majulah Singapura” by the Security Officers and Union of Security Employees (USE) Industrial Relations Officer, filmed right in the heart of the CBD!
2) What?! A customer service centre for security officers?!
I’m sure you’ve heard of customer service centre or counter in telco shops, departmental stores or the malls. But a “customer service centre” for the security officers? Seriously?
Well, apparently there really is one!
The customer service centre, run by the union, is located at Textile Centre #03-24. According to the USE website, this front counter service allows its members to inquire on union membership matters, and security officers can also make the Police Licensing Regulatory Department issued license card upon approval.
3) NEW: A mediation service for employment-related disputes and workplace grievances!
Earlier this month, a new mediation service for security officers and their employers to resolve employment-related disputes and workplace grievances was launched by the USE and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).
The aim of this initiative is to help security officers and their employers mediate and resolve employment-related disputes and workplace grievances through trained mediators instead of taking them to the TADM directly. This initiative is also supported by NTUC.
In this case, USE will act as “middleman” between the security officers and their employers, who leverage on USE’s knowledge of employment practices to find a mutually beneficial solution for both parties. USE has handled 24 cases since its soft launch on July 2.
Executive Secretary of the USE, Steve Tan, believes that disputes and grievances are best resolved at the most immediate level for all parties through open and honest discussions. And USE will take on a lead role to mediate the disputes and to work out a resolution that is fair to the parties.
“We are confident we can reach a speedy resolution for both security officers and their employers – we have been doing this since 1978.”
And hopefully, through this effort, both security officers and their employers become more aware of their employment rights and obligations towards each other and take the necessary steps towards improving the work environment for the benefit of the workers and the business.
4) The security industry IS about to transform
Enough with the perception that the security industry is of a dead-end job and there will be no future, for the industry is about to change.
Just recently, Minister for Manpower Mrs Josephine Teo launched the Security Industry Digital Plan (IDP) under the Security Industry Transformation Map.
The Security IDP, developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the Ministry of Home Affairs, in consultation with stakeholders, is a guide to help small and medium enterprise (SME) security agencies to adopt digital technologies to support technology and innovation in the industry.
So, in future, the security industry will no longer be a manpower-intensive profession, instead, security officers will be required to be skilled with new technology skills in order to utilise the sophisticated technologies adopted by companies.
5) They are live streamers too
Erm nope, I’m not referring to those PC games live streamers.
Neither am I talking about the dubious kind where viewers buy in-app currency to exchange for gifts when they watch endless live feed of nubile young women doing nothing. Yes, those sweet young things in thick makeup and skimpy outfits.
I am talking about useful and meaningful live streaming that helps to clarify doubts.
Did you know that the USE has been reaching out to communicate with their members through SMSes, Whatsapp and yes, even Facebook Live?
The USE holds Facebook Live session every month and these sessions are usually hosted by union leaders accompanied by an Industrial Relations Officer (IRO).
The topics covered during the live session varies from workplace grievances, to salary-related dispute and etc. Basically, it is a channel for security officers to send in whatever questions or raise challenges they face at their workplace.
So there you go, another proactive step that the security industry has taken to embrace technology!
(Featured image via Labourbeat.org)